Staying Safe While Using A Ice Shack Heater
With advances in technology portable heaters have become more and more popular among ice fisherman. No longer do you have to head to truck every hour just to warm your appendages and then head back out 10 minutes later.
But is it safe to use a portable heater when ice fishing? Below we’re going to talk about the different types of heaters and how you can stay both safe and warm on the water.
Are They Safe To Use?
Portable heaters for the most part are safe. This does not mean it’s a set it and forget it type of situation though. You need to be weary of the potential dangers that each type of heater can carry. It is then that they can be safe to use. Having a portable heater in your ice fishing structure is a great way to stay out on the ice longer and catch more fish.
The Safest Portable Heater for Ice Fishing
To be completely honest, the safest portable heater you can use for ice fishing is to simply wear multiple layers of clothing. But I know, that’s not why you’re reading this article. The fact is, all heaters come with certain pros and cons.
With propane you could injure yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning or result in death. While using an electric heater by hooking it up to a generator could result in electrocution if you’re not careful about water.
One of the strongest heaters you could use for your shack would be a wood burning stove. Of course, this also carries the risk of smoke inhalation as well as fire risk. If using one of these, make sure to always bring a fire extinguisher.
If you’re still not convinced that wearing layers is the best way to go, then you’ll want to read to the end because I will list some of the best ice fishing heaters for you to choose from.
Is Propane or Electric Safe?
As long as you’re careful and mindful of what you’re doing a propane or electric heater can be safe to use. When using propane If you ever start getting a headache or start feeling light headed then head out into the fresh air immediately. If using an electric heater, you need to be very careful that no moisture gets on it, which could result in electrocution.
Safety Features to Look For In an Ice Fishing Heater
Many of the newer propane heaters come with safety features that lets you be at ease a little more when you’re fishing. Many will automatically turn off when tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, and some can even sense if the oxygen level gets too low. Many also have a heat wire guard. Many electric heaters also have the tip over safety feature.
Can a Portable Heater Melt the Ice?
It makes sense that when you put a heater on top ice that the ice would met right? So, is it safe to use a portable heater when ice fishing? While true that the ice could met, most shacks have a floor in them which helps keep the heat off of it. In general, a heater is not producing enough energy to melt the ice even if you didn’t have a floor. Just ensure that you’re facing it upwards and not down. If you have it pointing down then you may melt off some ice.
However, this would really only be a problem if the you fishing on thin ice. Which you shouldn’t be doing anyway. So, no a heater as long as your pointing it upwards and fishing on a thick enough surface will not melt the ice.
Top Portable Heater Brands for Ice Fishing
1. Mr. Heater Big Buddy
One of, if not the most popular portable propane heaters in the US. The Mr. Heater Big Buddy uses two 1lb propane cylinders, and is designed to heat up enclosures up to 450 sq. ft. there is also an internal fan which helps move more heat and can warm up your shack much quicker than those without. Operation s easy and all you need to do is push a button to light it. It’s also equipped with key safety features including immediate shut off id it is tipped over, or if the oxygen is too low in your enclosed area.
2. Mr. Heater Little Buddy
This is the ideal size for a small fold up ice fishing tent or shack, it heats up 95 sq. ft. it is a one setting 3800 btu capacity. It uses a single one-pound propane canister and can prove up to 5 hours of heat. This is safe for indoor use and just like its older and larger brother comes with emergency shut offs if it is tipped over or if the oxygen gets too low. Also, because of how small it is its perfect for hauling out with you on the ice.
3. Dura Heat Propane 360-degree Tank Top Ice Fishing Heater
This is also another small heater that is easy to lug around the ice. It can be used with a large propane tank and can heat a 1,000 sq. ft unit. Using a 20lb cannister can give you 14 hours of heat. Perfect for a weekend spent on the ice. This also will turn off if tipped over, but there is no oxygen sensor.
4. Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Ice Fishing Heater
Lightweight and small it runs on a single one-pound propane canister, and delivers 2800 btu’s and can run 4-6 hours. It will also automatically turn off it the flame goes out. The extra wide base gives it great stability so you don’t have to worry too much about knocking it over on the ice. It’s also very easy to set up and use. And despite its size can heat up a small shack very well.
5. MR. Heater Triple Tank Top Ice Fishing Heater
This is the big-time heater. Capable of emitting 10,000-45,000 btu’s per hour. It come equipped with three settings. Low, medium and high so you can regulate how hot you need your structure to be. You can use 20-100 lb. propane cylinder and also has a tip over shut off feature.
Is it safe to use a portable heater when ice fishing? The short answer is yes. The long answer is a portable heater is a great way to keep yourself warm and fishing longer. All come with certain hazards that you should be aware of though. But if you pay heed to the safety instructions then they can be perfectly safe and great tools.